WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 6, 2016) - Beginning Jan. 4, 2016, the U.S. Army and the Defense Information Systems Agency began enforcing Defense Enterprise Email mailbox size limits.

Users can expect to receive automatically-generated warnings when mailboxes approach, reach and exceed authorized size limits. Mailboxes exceeding authorized limits will initially lose the ability to send email, then, at a preset "over-size" level, will also cease to receive email.

Individual mailbox limits are determined according to multiple factors, including the type of account (person or non-person entity - that is an email account for an organization), the user's rank and job, and special position-associated requirements for a high volume of email traffic.

Implementation and enforcement of size limits is necessary due to the exponential growth in storage consumption. According to John Howell, Army product director for enterprise content collaboration and messaging, the growth in storage needs was on an unsustainable path.

"Since February 2015, the number of Defense Enterprise Email mailboxes more than four gigabytes had been increasing at a rate of approximately 4,000 accounts per month," he said.

Mailbox size affects Defense Enterprise Email costs; the more storage used, and the greater the cost to the Army, Mr. Howell noted. It also impacts the system's efficiency and Outlook start-up times.

Commands will have the authority to manage their mailbox accounts in a manner that offers the flexibility necessary to meet mission requirements while limiting overall Defense Enterprise Email costs. The Army will regularly reassess command needs in order to ensure that mailbox sizes match requirements.

"Our intent is to review command allotments and mailbox limits annually to ensure that we are providing commands the email support they need to accomplish their missions," said Lt. Gen. Robert S. Ferrell, U.S. Army chief information officer/G-6.

Through a concerted education campaign and some enforcement action, Mr. Howell's team has already begun to cut storage consumption. "Since our initial push to reduce mailbox sizes," he said, "we have eliminated the growth and significantly reduced the number of mailboxes over four gigabytes.

"Mailbox management at all user levels is critical to ensuring that Army storage requirements do not grow at unsustainable and unaffordable rates," Mr. Howell added. "The Army needs all users and all organizational mailbox owners to take immediate action to reduce the Army's overall consumption of storage."

Tips and strategies for reducing email storage consumption are available on the Army Enterprise Service Desk's customer support website: https://esd-crm.csd.disa.mil/app/home.